Some time ago, one of our readers emailed us saying that she wanted to get the health records and information in relation to her father’s treatment by a certain doctor in the Ryde NSW Health hospital – health records and information that she believed she was entitled to under the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002.
She asked the doctor for them, and he said he didn’t have any! – that they were all held by the Hospital.
Just concentrating on this for a minute.
Is it true that doctors treating patients in hospitals, Government or private, don’t have any obligation themselves to have any health records and information on the patients they treat? Was the doctor lying?
We didn’t know then and still don’t know the answer to this.
We emailed a letter to Dr Elizabeth Coombs the NSW Privacy Commissioner, on 28 Feb 2016, asking her this – we’ll let you know if we get an answer. We’re not expecting an answer – rather that the NSW people will be “left in the dark.”
Because we didn’t know the answer to this at the time, we concentrated on trying to get them from the Ryde hospital, but like our reader, we got nowhere. So we wrote to Ms Skinner, the NSW Minister for Health complaining, and, as we’ve mentioned before, about five months later we got a letter from her telling us what the Ryde hospital should have been doing – nothing about what she might do if they didn’t do it.
And of course, if it turns out that the doctor concerned was doing the wrong thing or lying, there’s nothing that can be done about this either.
What a complete and utter shambles?
We read recently about a lady who knew a fair bit about the NSW health system, and when she found out she had some sort of illness, she immediately committed suicide. No wonder!